By Star Ezeano, March 14 2023—
Watching the news will have you convinced that our chinooks are something to be grateful about, and don’t get me wrong they are. As a Calgarian, you learn a thing or two about getting ready to face the day. No matter how bright the sun shines, it’s still probably winter — but life must go on. True veterans know that this city is notorious for our 9-month-long winters. Often times people find themselves wearing very functionally unappealing outfits.
Lining your wardrobe with staple pieces is the most practical way to start. This isn’t a call to action to chuck out your entire wardrobe — who has the money for that? Half of us are already drowning in student loans, why invest in winter fashion? Simply because when you look good you feel good. If you are looking for quality, you don’t necessarily have to reach deep into your pockets. Here are some budget-friendly ways to stay warm and fashionable in Calgary.
If you want affordable buying second-hand is the way to go. It’s great for the environment and the best way to develop your sense of personal style. Stocking up on chunky knits will never fail you. Finding a hole or two even adds depth to that sweater — if you’re into that type of thing. Clothes can serve more than one purpose; if you allow them, they can tell a story that goes farther than the person who wears them. On the other hand, the corporate world doesn’t smile too much at a couple of holes. Some honourable mentions of places to shop are Value Village and Goodwill. When shopping you don’t need to pick loud vibrant pieces but do a thorough inspection before you do purchase the items. Also don’t limit yourself by only shopping in the men’s section, for example, clothes don’t have gender. Post-pandemic has enlightened thrift stores about their true value, so we won’t be getting our change rooms back. When sifting through those hangers, pick up a couple of sweaters, long sleeves and thermals because layering is where we are heading next.
A subtle way to stay warm is by layering clothing. Start off with a base layer which can be a thermal or a tank top. Then the fun begins, because you can now add a cardigan, or a flannel, or even just throw on a sweater. The possibilities are endless, but don’t let them overwhelm you. After you have created an outfit, you know you can be proud of, go grab that jacket because your target audience just got their money’s worth. Calgary has never been a predictable one, so the ease of peeling those layers off is an option you want to have.
Adding winter accessories like scarves, gloves and toques are a fun way of spicing up that winter jacket. Now a very underrated store for accessories is the Dollar Store. Before you gasp, make the trip. If the trip turns out to be unsuccessful, Winners is the direction you will want to turn towards.
Shopping with intention will really change how you style and buy clothes. What exactly are you buying when you are looking to bundle up for the day? The clothes you wear could set the mood for your entire evening. But then again, they are just pieces of fabric stitched together that save you from public indecency. All I’m saying is let clothes be more than clothes, allow them to be a form of expression.